Sometimes you
need to perform similar calculations in different cells throughout a
worksheet. For example, you might want to calculate sales tax on each
item in a product catalog, the monthly sales in each store of a
company, or the final grade for each student in a class. In this
section, you'll learn how Excel makes it easy with
*relative cell references*
. Relative cell references are
cell references that Excel updates automatically when you copy them
from one cell into another. They're the standard
kind of references that Excel uses (as opposed to absolute cell
references, which are covered in the next section). In fact, all the
references you've used so far have been relative
references, but you haven't yet seen how they work
with copy-and-paste operations.

Consider the worksheet shown in Figure 7-9, which contains a teacher's grade book. In this example, each student has three grades: two tests and one assignment. A student's final grade is based on the following percentages: 25 percent for each of the two tests, and 50 percent for the assignment.

The following formula calculates the final grade for the first student (Edith Abbott):

=B2*25% + C2*25% + D2*50%

The formula that calculates the final mark for the second student (Grace DeWitt) is almost identical. The only change is that all the cell references are offset by one row, so that B2 becomes B3, C2 becomes C3, and D2 becomes D3.

=B3*25% + C3*25% + D3*50%

Figure 7-9. This worksheet shows a list of students in ...

Start Free Trial

No credit card required